Hacking POS terminals a bigger concern than EHR for health care field

Readers of this blog are well aware of the fact that point of sale security is an important facet of a business. However, a lapse in this area can lead to much more than a loss of finances.

Recently, Verizon released the latest version of its Data Breach Investigation Reports. The study examines breaches in a variety of industries and summarizes information provided by the U.S. Secret Services and law enforcement agencies from all over the world. In total, 27 different countries were represented.

One of the most interesting takeaways came from the health care industry. According to the numbers, far and away the most common kind of breach in the medical field is through the cash register and not virtual desktops or electronic health records. POS terminals were compromised in 64 percent of attacks, while the POS server was a distant second, being compromised in 48 percent of attacks.

Desktops and workstations hung close, as they were cited in 38 percent of attacks, while database servers, backup tapes, digital documents and other services account for 11 percent total, none were any higher that 5 percent individually.

A ZDNet article looked deeper into the effects of POS breaches on the health care industry.

"While these results may be hard to believe initially, remember that doctors offices and small clinics (which were the majority of those organizations breached) tend to take in real money in the form of credit cards, cash, and checks for both self-pay customers and for the co-pay portion of the visit cost," the article reads. "So, while insurance companies are reimbursing some of the expense, the amount that the insurance carriers leave on the table has become quite attractive to organized criminals."

Companies need to ensure their POS software solutions are up to speed. Any system that handles finances is going to be a target for criminals.

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